Painting vandalised

The controversial painting of Zuma at the Goodman gallery (The Spear) has according to my lunchtime news reports been destroyed. (Original post with undefaced pictures here)


The painting of President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed – the focus of a court battle to have it removed from the Goodman Gallery – has been defaced.

In a brazen gesture at the gallery this morning, in front of a crew from e-tv’s 3rd Degree programme, two men used red and black paint to destroy The Spear – a painting by Cape Town artist Brett Murray.

The well-dressed pair managed to make their way though the gallery with cans of paint.

More here and here

I haven’t bothered to read the reports, this is after all Africa and this …………….(I’ll stop now, I’m so angry)

11 thoughts on “Painting vandalised”

  1. Probably for the good, a tasteless piece of crap at best without all the political claptrap.
    Wouldn’t give it a second thought if I were you!

  2. Hi Soutie,

    I don’t know what to think. I was not over-impressed with the picture as art but I could see where it was coming from as political satire.

    Does the destruction mean that the impending injunction application fell and that no decision will have been reached as to whether or not it was racist? I have to say that I feel that the destruction appears to have been a tad too convenient and well recorded.

    My major disappointment, of course, is that when I first saw the photograph with the strategically placed hat I thought that the painting was in 3D and that is was your entry for LW’s photo competition on the theme of ‘Growing’.

  3. Extremely convenient, and so no test case, presumably, Soutie?

    Political satire is not appreciated, or allowed, will this be the way things are going, or will it provoke a backlash?

  4. G’dag, Soutie! And afine summer morning it is, to be sure!
    Your post catches me on the horns of apainful dilemma. At the ethical level the picture should be permissible – if only for a restricted audience (choose your own criteria); but at the artistic level, it sucks and got what it deserved! life was ever thus.

  5. Morning all

    As I said on my previous post I’m no fan of the painting, its the lack of tolerance by some sectors of society that annoys.

    JM, I believe that the court case will go ahead, I have a feeling that the ruling will apply to reproductions printed in newspapers, magazines, websites etc. The film and publication board have also received complaints, they are also sitting to decide if it’s pornographic or not, which would limit the public showing of the painting.

    Ara, I’m not quite sure what you mean by ‘allowed’? (By whom?) Our press continually push the boundaries of politicians patience and long may it continue.

    Janus, I mention tolerance, would you believe that a spokesman for the country’s biggest church has called for the artist to be stoned to death report here.

  6. Morning Soutie.

    I read in one of the reports that the gallery was closed after the painting was destroyed, in order to prevent further exhibits being damaged. Whoever did the damage was obviously opposed to this example of political satire, and took matters into his own hands. I hope this will not become a trend, and that the boundaries should rightly be decided by the courts.

  7. Hi Ara

    Yes, I’m not unhappy with the courts deciding (personally I’d have preferred no court case and the painting proceed to it’s private German buyer in due course.)

    The case is now scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) but I suspect that there will be the usual delays, adjournments and postponements and that by the time a decision is reached this may all have been forgotten.

    The arrest of the vandals / defacers is of course a different matter, they were arrested and bailed, I wonder what penalty (if any) our courts will eventually hand out.

  8. The defacing of this painting was reported on our TV – so I guess the artist got the widespread audience he wanted!

    It’s an awful painting (in my opinion!) but I suspect it wouldn’t have attracted so much attention if it had been put on display in a dark corner of the art gallery and no one raised any objections.

  9. Well the trial started and a couple of hours later adjourned.

    The bench (that’s three high court judges presiding) decided that more time was needed for the arguments, they in fact decided that three (3) days should do it.

    So, it will be heard when next it can be fitted into the schedule.

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